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Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, left, tours Austin Community College's ACCelerator, a high-tech learning lab that provides access to more than 600 computers for individualized learning and small group sessions. ACC’s ACCelerator helps students focus on developing the in-demand technical skills needed in growing local industries, including in the energy sector. Secretary Moniz was joined by a group of students and school administrators. | Photo by Derek Posey, ACC.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, center, asks questions to guide Tony DeVille, left, during a tour of the meter skid at Big Hill Strategic Petroleum Reserve near Houston, Texas. | Photo by Matthew Gaubert, Energy Department.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz delivers a keynote address at SXSW Eco in Austin, Texas, on October 8, 2014. | Photo by David Fox, SXSW.
October is National Energy Action Month -- and that means Energy Department officials have been busy crisscrossing the country to highlight the ways President Obama’s plan to fight climate change is helping to grow the clean energy economy and strengthen our energy security.
Last week, Secretary Ernest Moniz visited Texas to participate in events on topics ranging from energy security to workforce training to the need to reduce our carbon emissions while developing all of our abundant energy resources.
The trip was anchored by the Secretary’s keynote speech at the SXSW Eco conference in Austin on Wednesday. In his remarks, Secretary Moniz shared good news about the dramatic increase in adoption of four key clean energy technologies -- land-based wind, photovoltaic solar, LED lights and electric vehicles. He also emphasized the need to continue investments in the basic science and early-stage research and development that will ensure America is poised to develop the game-changing clean energy technologies of the future.
Other highlights from the Secretary’s trip, which you can check out in the photo gallery above:
- Secretary Moniz joined students and administrators at Austin Community College to discuss the need to prepare students with trade skills that match high-demand jobs in the energy industry. Austin Community College is at the forefront of this national trend, and the school has made sustainability initiatives a priority, engaging faculty and students every step of the way.
- A powerful asset for our global and national energy security, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil. During a tour of the Big Hill storage and distribution site -- the Texas facility’s first-ever visit from a Secretary of Energy -- Secretary Moniz joined a teleconference with all four SPR sites along the Gulf coast to congratulate staff for flawless execution of a recent 5 million-barrel crude oil test sale, used to help evaluate the SPR’s drawdown and distribution capabilities.
- U.S. Representatives Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green joined Secretary Moniz for a roundtable with wind energy and transmission stakeholders in Houston. Traditionally known as home base for the U.S. oil and gas industries, Texas also leads the nation in wind energy. Texas has more installed wind capacity, more wind turbines and more wind jobs than any other state, by far. In 2013 alone, Texas installed 141 megawatts of large-scale wind turbines, and cumulatively, there is enough electricity generated from wind to power more than 3.3 million average American homes.
- During a meeting with the Greater Houston Partnership, Secretary Moniz focused on workforce development for a booming energy economy. Joined again by Representatives Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green, Secretary Moniz met with leaders from labor unions, the private sector, academia and nongovernmental organizations to discuss the tremendous growth of energy-related jobs in the Houston area. He also announced the Department of Energy Jobs Strategy Council, a new initiative to help cities and states accelerate the creation of energy jobs and address the skills gap in the workforce development pipeline.